Viewers get to transport themselves back to elementary school with the theater department’s newest musical: Junie B. Jones Jr. Based on the popular kids’ book series, the play features the ups-and-downs of Junie B.’s life as she enters the first grade. The play is relatable to people of all ages, whether it’s reviving nostalgic memories of first grade or recreating the drama that we all went through.
Freshman Mackenzie Beenken and Sophomore Alyssa Lucas played the lead: Junie B. Jones. They were able to shed some light into what working on such a huge production was like.
Tell us a little bit about the play.
“We’re both Junie B Jones and it’s about their lives and their little first grade troubles. It’s really cute. She writes down all of the stories she goes through and it’s her journey through first grade. She really matures as a character during the show and it shows her maturity through first grade.”
What was your favorite part of playing Junie B Jones?
“Just getting to go back to first grade. High school is not as fun as first grade, you know? And so it’s really fun to go back into first grade and be a first grader having no worries.”
“I love it so much because high school is not as fun as elementary school and I just love how sassy she is because I am not a sassy person and it’s fun.”
Who is your favorite character?
“They’re all so fun. Junie is such a good character. Gladys Gutsman is just the funniest human alive. Sheldon’s pretty great too. Sheldon is hilarious. He’s like this nerdy kid that Junie ends up befriending. He’s a lot of fun.”
What motivated you to try out for Junie B Jones?
“When I saw that it was going to be Junie B Jones and heard about what she was, I was like ‘this sounds so fun’. When I related to her first-grade struggles cause I remember having some, I was like ‘yes’.”
“That’s so true. It was just such a fun character and (I thought) she would be such a fun character to be.”
What kind of commitment was put in?
“Not only did we have to sing, act, and dance, we also had to learn how to juggle which is so hard. It’s very hard. We’re still learning.”
What makes it all worth-while?
“This is the children’s show. And basically, that’s when kids come from all different elementary schools and come and watch the show during school. That’s what makes it so worth it. Seeing all of the smiles on the kids’ faces and how excited it makes them is so adorable. It was really good. It’s just such an awesome feeling after. It’s like you got there and you’re so stressed, but once you get on stage, all of that stress just fades away.”
Naisha Roy and Alyssa Freyman
Elementary schoolers come in excitedly to watch the show. The team rehearsed for hours each to prepare for their arrival.
The play was whimsical, colorful, and hilarious. A treat for everyone, those wanting to see it for themselves can go watch it at 7 o´clock on both Thursday and Friday (November 29th and 30th), and Saturday, December 1st.